I really fell behind writing about my 14 weeks leading up to Chicago, so in an effort to catch up I’m going to write about the past 5 weeks in this one post.

My plan has me running at least 15k every day.  On a normal week quality will be Tuesday/Thursday (hills, track, tempo, etc.) and Saturday (long run).  If I’m not feeling it on my easy days I have no problem shutting it down.  Easy days are just to build milage, but I’m not doing myself any favours if I’m limping through a run.  Here’s hope the last 5 weeks have gone.

Week 1 – 96k (Boilermaker week)

My week didn’t start off very well.  I had pain in my right knee and shut my planned 15k easy down after just over 1k.  I could have pushed through but I didn’t want to risk injury.  Tuesday was a much better day, I got in 15k with 6x75sec hill repeats.  Wednesday was my first day at the track this year.  It hurt, but it was a great run.  8x800m on 400m rest, followed by a final 1600m.  I managed low 2:50’s for all my 800’s and was happy with how I was able to push myself.  Thursday/Friday were each easy runs, about 15k each to get some more milage.  Saturday I ran just under 6k to keep my legs loose before Boilermaker without tiring them out too much.  Sunday was Boilermaker, which was a great run for me.  You can read my race report about it HERE.

Week 2 – 113k (First week over 100k, Ajax 5k)

The Monday after Boilermaker my legs were a little flat, but I wasn’t too sore.  I ran 6k before we left Utica and another 9k when I got home.  Tuesday I did an easy 10k in the morning and then 7k in the evening with 6 hill repeats at Cornell Danforth Park.  The hill there is only about 70sec long, but steep.  Coming off Boilermaker I felt good running the hills.  Thursday I did another easy 10k in the morning and then the Ajax 5k Tune-Up Race in the evening.  This was my first ever 5k and it was an effort.  My time was approximately 18:18, I was dead at the finished line.  You can read my race report HERE.  Saturday was my first ‘long run’ at 25k.  At about the 7k mark I began to feel my stomach bubbling and at approximately 12k I was reduced to walking for a half km.  I was able to run again until about 17k when I walked another 0.5km.  I don’t know if I ate too much before the run or messed up nutrition the night before but it wasn’t a pleasant feeling.  My GI issued passed and I felt fine for the final 7k or so.

Week 3 – 143k (Lake Placid)

Tuesday was my second track workout.  I did 5×1600 on 800m rest.  It was a hot day and the 1600m intervals were difficult, especially the first.  I was happy with my effort.  Wednesday I cut my run short because my legs were so flat.  I was headed to Placid on Wednesday and had intended to do another short run when I arrived, but the weather was brutal and my legs were still flat.  On Thursday I took advantage of the Lake Placid hills to get in a hill workout.  I did 6 repeats on the Papa Bear hill and then 1 repeat of the Three Bears.  That afternoon I hoped on my bike and rode up Whiteface Mountain.  The climb was like nothing I’ve ever done.  The grade was a pretty steady 8% all the way to the top.  It took me about 1:12 to cover the approximately 13km climb!  On Saturday I did my long run.  I planned for 28k but ended up with 30.  Over the first 21k I ran 8x2min pickups.  After 21k I met up with Lisa for some fuel.  I’ve heard of all sorts of athletes taking Red Bull during races.  I’ve never been a fan, but they were giving it away for free in town so I decided to give it a shot.  The results were decisive, I WONT do that again!  Once I continued running I began to feel slightly dizzy and light-headed.  I don’t know if this can all be blamed on the Red Bull or just a calorie deficit, but it definitely didn’t provide any sort of boost.  Sunday was IM Lake Placid.  I wasn’t racing but Lisa was.  I managed to get in 43k of running spread out over the course of the day, running to different spots to spectate.  It was broken up into manageable chunks (never more than 7k at a time) so it wasn’t too hard on my legs, but I was exhausted by the end of the day.

Whiteface Climb Profile

Whiteface Climb Profile

Week 4 – 84k

After running 73k over the weekend I took Monday/Tuesday off to allow my legs to recover.  I got back to running with an easy 16k Wednesday.  Thursday I was back to workouts.  I ran 18k total, with just over 10k of intervals varying from 1600m to 3200m.  Saturday my long run was pushed up to 33k.  It was a hard effort, but didn’t shatter my like 30k+ runs had last year (progress!).

Week 5 – 125k

I began the week with a sore right knee, and I hadn’t run Sunday because of it.  No, it wasn’t from running, it was from Bubble Soccer. I did an easy 7k on Monday to try to loosen it up.  On Tuesday I did another easy 8k, by this point the swelling and much of the bruising was gone.  Tuesday evening I ended up doing a tough 8k tempo with a group from Ajax Running Free (19k total).  We ran the tempo at 3:53 pace.  It was great running next to John, he is a much more seasoned runner at myself and was able to keep the pace even.  It was a tough hall, but really a breakthrough run.  I was short on calories, and in the final few easy km’s I was desperate to get something into my body.  Thursday I did 2×1200, 2×1600, and 2×2000 on the road.  I had some GI problems that flared up and caused my to cut the first 2000 short at 1700.  Besides that I was happy with the run.  On Saturday I pushed my long run milage up to 36k, it was the longest I plan to run in my build to Chicago.  I wanted to do this because in my head I think of 36k as a really long run (it is!), and it’s a mental hurdle for me.  The nice thing was I was able to break it up into different parts.  I first ran a 10k loop to see if anyone got to the parking lot early.  Nobody did so I ran another 5k loop.  Then I ran 15k with a group, and I finished with a solo 6k loop.  It was 36k, but it didn’t feel like it.  I managed about 15:00 of pickups through the first 15k and final 6, which I was happy with.  I was also really happy with how I felt after the run.  Last year I would be completely drained after long runs, and would be a walking zombie for a couple hours after I finished.  I wasn’t feeling good, but I felt a hell of a lot better than I recall feeling last year.  I attribute this to better fueling during the run, and a better base of milage.